tv MSNBC Live With Ayman Mohyeldin MSNBC December 10, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
good afternoon, everyone. as we come on the air this hour we're following breaking news. there could be an approved coronavirus vaccine in the united states by the end of today. right now, a panel of advisers to the food and drug administration is meeting about whether to recommend the agency authorized the pfizer vaccine. they're expected to vote soon. we'll bring that to you once we learn about it. this as we're beginning on see the full effects of thanksgiving travel and gatherings on this country. yesterday the united states reported a daily record of almost 223,000 cases and more than 3,100 deaths, surpassing the 9/11 attacks as the deadliest single day for americans this century. and that could be a low estimate. a new york times analysis finds deaths nationwide were 19% higher than normal from march
15th to november 21st. that's 356,000 more people than usual dying during that period. and jobless claims increased by 853,000 last week which was over 100,000 more than expected. in the meantime, president trump is meeting with state attorneys general at the white house after they backed a lawsuit in the supreme court to overturn the election results in four states that president-elect joe biden won. we have a team of our top reporters and analysts standing by to cover all of these stories. let's get back to the fda hearing on the vaccine approval for a moment. where the vote could begin in just minutes from now. earlier on today, fda commissioner steven hahn defended why the process is taking longer in the united states than the u.k. and canada. >> our job is to test the efficacy. we shrunk a process that usually takes months into one that takes weeks and i have 100%
confidence. >> joining us now, dr. john torres. great to have you with us. a very critical hour in this process. we'll keep an eye on that vote if it does get underway in this program. this meeting expected to go on at least until 5:00 tonight. what is the panel specifically looking at? and can we tell which way they are leaning so far? >> this is a very important panel. it is an advisory panel filled with independent experts. they're not employed by the fda. they're not beholden to the fda and the fda uses them in an id capacity to give information on questions they might have over something like this. the sxraks related biological products advisory committee. they'll look at all the raw data and look at the information to find out, dig down and find out specifics or any nuances based on race, age, gender, anything that might affect the vaccine. the fda has looked at the data
and they'll come with questions that they can hopefully answer. they'll recommend thumbs up or thumbs down west expect them to recommend it. then the fda will take that on advisement. they don't always have to follow them but most of the time they do follow the advisement of this panel. so expect it to get done, maybe saturday time frame. >> and then let's talk about what this means for getting a vaccine to the public. connect the dots for us as you just. . what happens today and ultimately, the vaccinations in the arms of americans. >> still a couple more steps in the process. so you have verpak who will make the recommendation. it goes to a committee on immunization practices. remember the fda makes the authorization. they will look at, now that it
is authorized, how do people get dosing? how much do they get? how often do they get it? are there differences with medical conditions. you can start getting shots in arms. if everything goes according to plans, monday or tuesday is when we'll see shots in people's arms and the ball will start rolling after that. now the u.s. supreme court could decide as any moment whether it will take up a lawsuit filed by texas seeking to throw out the election results in georgia, michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin. this just after president trump finished meeting with a group of republican state attorneys general who endorsed that lawsuit. joining us now, tnow working a
sequel to his best selling book, a very stable genius. also with us, best selling author michael beschloss and nbc news political reporter with the biden transition team in wilmington, delaware. phil, let me begin with you. the president's meetings with the state attorneys general was closed to the press. what are you hearing from your source about what went down, what happens if the supreme court doesn't take up the texas lawsuit and where this goes from here? >> well, what we see happening and building all week is a public pressure campaign from the president to get the supreme court to act. he of course feels some sort of personal connection to the supreme court given that he installed three of the nine justices himself most recently, amy coney barrett. he is mounting pressure. publicly, we see it in the twitter messages he's been sending. we see it in these meetings like
the one he had today with these republican state attorneys general, trying to convince them that there was widespread voter fraud and the results need to be turned out and he won the election. of course there is no evidence to support the president's claims. no evidence has surfaced in five or six weeks since the election to indicate any kind of widespread voter fraud. all these states that he's trying to get the court to overturn the results, the results have been certified and of course, the electoral college will be meeting on december 14th to make the national result official. and joe biden is the president-elect. >> and let me get your thoughts about this. to some extent, we've been seeing the president's play book even before the election. you've been tweeting about how the president's actions have been completely out of the norm. tell us a little about this. michael beschloss, i should note, tell us about this. >> the main reason is we've
never seen anything like this before. this is a total carnival side show. the president is clownishly pretending that he believes he was elected. we know he doesn't really. those attorney generals are humoring him. they probably shouldn't have done that. i would love to talk to those attorneys general in private and say do you think this case will actually be accepted by the supreme court and actually prevail. i'll bet you we would have a hard time finding any of them who would say yes. these are people in trump states. they have to run for election. there are a lot of angry people, angry about trump's defeat. they're trying to please their voters and get out of this with as little injury as possible. and the other thing is, when have we seen anything like this before in history? the only tiny precedent for this is 1974, richard nixon was president. the tapes case was before the supreme court. u.s. v nixonon. he hoped against hope the four
justices he had appointed to the supreme court would come to save his bacon. they didn't. they turned him down flat. i predict will happen right now including the justices who donald trump appointed to the court. no way of knowing for certain but i would be very surprised if he prevails. >> i was mentioning the president has tweeted about the supreme court coming to save him. we'll see whether or not that does happen. as the president plots to stay in office, president-elect joe biden making more big staff announcements. tell us about his latest choices and also this. the a.p. is reporting the white house coronavirus response coordinator, dr. deborah birx, is hoping to stay on and work the biden administration. what do we know about her position and her future? >> well, as it relates to the latest batch of staff announcements, the pace picking up in wilmington. this is the third set we're seeing. this is a familiar pattern. it is how familiar these faces are to the president-elect.
you have tom vilsack. biden worked him for eight years in the white house when he meld position there, biden talked often on the campaign trail when he was with him. about how much he relied on him beyond his portfolio at the time. as agriculture secretary. then you look at susan rice being appointed as the head of the domestic policy council. we were talking about her as a potential vice presidential pick. they worked closely together. and the u.n. ambassador in the obama administration. and then the choice to lead the v.a. dennis was the chief of staff for the final years of the obama administration. also worked the national security team for a number. years. a very difficult bureaucratic task that he is being handed and one that biden trusts him with. and your questions about dr. birx is an interesting one. on the part of the biden team, you're seeing an interest in a clean break from the trump administration. you saw that with the choice of
rochelle balance insky. we haven't heard about what is in store for dr. birx. one interesting note. she has worked closely in the past with dr. fauci. especially on issues relate to hiv and aids. dr. fauci is one of the exceptions here that is staying on in the biden team and perhaps if there is going to be a role for dr. birx in the future, it might be a little on the privile periphery. >> let me play for you what president trump said about dr. birx back in july. watch this. >> i think they like her because she is on my side. she is a fantastic woman who has done a fantastic job. >> there were moments where there were questions about the reactions she gave. that was nearly six months ago. what do we know about her current standing in the white
house? >> well, dr. birx in the last several months has done a great deal of work traveling around the country. she's been visiting many, if not all the states, having a lot of one-on-one meetings with governors, sharing data and analysis about the spread of the virus as well as delivering personally to the governors the best practices from the cdc and the other doctors on the task force. if there is a role for her to continue in the biden administration, it could be as some sort of a liaison with the governors, simply because she's established the relationships and that connection to those key states already in her service in the trump years. her profile in the trump administration certainly has declined from the spring and summer when she was on national television every day, holding the daily briefings. we now see her very irregularly. instead we're getting a lot of the coronavirus. if not from the president then
the press secretary who we can all be assured won't be staying on in the biden administration. >> michael beschloss, one final question to you. referencing a post that you put out the other day. a picture of then vice president biden meeting with then vice president-elect michael pence. this was just days after their election and their conversation about the transition process. pence has yet to speak with vice president-elect kamala harris. i'm curious to get your thoughts. even somebody like mike pence, a washington institution in the sense that he knows how washington operates. he doesn't run like an outsider and yet here he is breaking these norms and traditions we have in this country. >> the vice president is with the guy he works for and he's being a taker, not a giver. joe biden was a giver. in 2016, just as you showed with that picture. two days after the election.
just as president obama met with president-elect trump, vice president biden met with vice president-elect pence. a week after that, he gave a lunch for pence and his wife at the vice president's residence, along with dr. biden, and went outside and told reporters, i'm going to be senior staff to mike pence and give him any help he needs to have. that's the american tradition. this thing where the president and vice president shun the duly elected president-elect and vice president-elect. it is unamerican. we haven't seen anything like it. they're not only robbing biden and harris, they're robbing the country. >> it will be a tradition that whether or not it is restored in the coming years, remains to be seen. thank you to all of you for joining thus hour. as we've mentioned, we're keeping a very close watch on the fda advisedory the committee. next we'll talk to a former member of the white house task force about the concerns we are
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we are watching the fda advisory meeting which is scheduled to vote on whether to recommend the approval of the pfizer vaccine in this country. here are the facts on the pandemic as we know them. the biontech firm has begun test on healthy adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. they said the goal is to generate enough data so children in that age group can be vaccinated before the 2021 school year. ellen degeneres announced today that she has tested positive for covid-19. she said she feels fine and she's following all the proper cdc guidelines. and a mental of the white house task force said that he expects
to have 100 million americans vaccinated by the end of february and shared his time line for the rest of the country. >> we won't put an end to the pandemic. the outbreaks, until most americans get vaccinated. that's probably not until april, may, june time frame. we're confident by june any american who wants a vaccine will be able to get a vaccine. >> joining us now is dr. adamson, a former member of the task force and an adviser to testing for american organization working to solve the testing crisis. thank you so much for joining us. i want to go back to the big story. that fda advisory panel meeting that is underway. one of the panel. is detailed how much they've been reviewing the data. watch this. >> once we get 70 to 80% vaccinated or having gotten the disease naturally, then this will go away. this will be like polio. where there will still be cases
but very low. >> so i apologize. that was the incorrect sound bite. let me read for what you we were going to play. it said the american public demands and deserves a rigorous review of data. that's what fda positions and scientists, all of us career public health servants have been doing over days, nights, weekends, and yes, even the thanksgiving holiday. my question to you as americans watch this. how reassured should the public be about getting a vaccine and a process that has led to us this point and whether or not it is being rushed safely or not. >> well, fda is the most truktd and respected regulatory body of drugs and diagnostics in the entire world. and it has an elite group of epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and has gathered the top experts around the world to ensure that they have the best of the best looking and rigorously evaluating this.
and i am fully supportive that they are interrogating all of the data in the way that they should for confidence that the risk benefit tradeoff is absolutely worth it. they pre specified what the minimum vaccine efficacy needs to be for ua approval. this is miles beyond what we have expected and hoped for. so i have a lot of trust in the fda's recommendations and decisions today. >> as you're probably aware, it is probably anecdotal at this point. we saw the cases in the u. can be with the nurses who had an allergic reaction. there will be a lot of issues including what came up in the meeting today that there may be a higher risk of pre term delivery among women with covid-19. what about them and people with pre-existing conditions? does the benefit outweigh the risk of being vaccinated if you're in one of the subset groups that we're talking about in this society? >> there are several key
populations, as you mentioned, where we need to continue to collect data and monitor very closely the safety and efficacy of this vaccine. as you said, pregnant women were not included in these initial trials. immuno compromised people and adolescents under the age of 16. so those are three groups that we need to continue to better investigate the safety and efficacy in these groups. so i would say it is more uncertainty than caution or concern. >> let me ask but the safety protocols going forward. the committee spent some time talking about how people who got the vaccine would be monitored for safety effects going forward. talk to us a little about how important it is to have a system in place to track people after they've been vaccinated. >> so important. the fda doesn't have to reinvent
the wheel here. we already have within our country an active and passive surveillance system. and they have a very thorough plan now to enhance these existing systems. so that we can monitor this in real-time very closely and be able to detect if there are any longer term safety signals that we need to recognize. or a difference in perhaps the effectiveness in different sub groups. >> is that something that can be done for 100 million people as the admiral expects by the end of february? >> it's a partnership between both the fda, cdc, the manufacturer, we've seen dod is playing an important role in this. so they're in passive surveillance systems. this is where we get to realize some of the benefits of electronic medical records for the first time. our modernized data systems are facilitating some of this population surveillance at a much bigger level than we've had
capacity to before. >> all right. thank you for joining with us your perspective this hour. appreciate it. congressional republicans are weighing a challenge to overturn the election results. next we'll have the very latest on that. first, the u.s. military flew two b-52 h-bombers from louisiana to the middle east today. u.s. central command said it is part of an ongoing effort to deter iran from any aggressive actions. the 36-hour mission flew through the middle east region but did not drop any bombs. you're watching msnbc. u're watc. ♪ chicago!
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all right. less than four weeks until congress officially counts the electoral votes and declares joe biden the winner of the election. we are discussing a challenge to the results and at leaf one senator, ron johnson of wisconsin, is leading the door open to joining they will. let's bring in senior writer and play book co-author, jake sherman. good to have you. we'll talk about this. what have we learned about the efforts of the republicans to
overturn the election? >> we've learned if i jump out of a window and flap my arms, i can say i'm going to fly but the chances are very, very slim and approaching none. they are not going to be able to overturn anything. they can challenge whatever they would like but joe biden is going to be the president. and they even realize that. what happens is if they challenge it, if they get a member of the house and a member of the senate to challenge the results when the electoral votes are being counted, then they could match up together and each chamber then gets to vote on that challenge. if one chamber votes against it, of course one chamber will vote against it. because the house will be democratic. then it's over and joe biden will be president. so it's a fun game, perhaps to play. if you're on planet earth, operating in reality, it doesn't really matter that much. >> so these three members are close allies of president trump. no surprise there. how much do you think the president's own conspiratorial rhetoric will continue on capitol hill after the electoral
college votes counted? even after joe biden is sworn in as president? how much do people in his party and his camp want to keep that he had peddling this? >> ad infin i'dum. today they're call him an illegitimate president. hunter biden's legal troubles which are being covered by the media. the media they're dumping all over. that that somehow makes his presidency illegitimate because it didn't come out before the election. from 30,000 feet, the president will be on the sidelines at all times weighing in on politics, weighing in on policy, weighing in with all the same things he's been weighing in with for years so of course, of course we imagine that this kind of tone and tenor will continue in his post presidency. >> let's talk about the 17 attorneys general. legal scholars tell nbc news, the latest lawsuit challenging the election results out of texas really has several issues
that are likely to lead it to failing. what does it say that 17 republican attorneys general signed on to this case? >> well, it says that they want to be in the good graces of the president, clearly. on both sides of the aisle, if you talk to attorney who's specialize, i'm not one. if you talk to them, they suggest it won't work and it is an exercise in futility but you do see a lot of these people have higher ambitions and looking at higher office. leslie rutledge rumored to want to be, a ash's governor. jeff landry from louisiana, todd rokita of indiana. there are a lot of people in this list. i'm not suggesting they're doing it out of politics but a lot of people who want to, listen, you have to understand that the republican based faithful still support the president in large numbers and everything he says in large numbers. >> let me ask but mitch mcconnell quickly on the very
latest with the covid relief efforts. he told the congressional leader that he sees no possible path to an agreement on the bipartisan relief bill being worked on. i hate to ask you this again. where does this leave congress reaching a deal? >> well, we've been talking about this pretty much consecutively since june and it leaves coming very far from a deal. this bipartisan group as i am earlier this week, i think, maybe last week, didn't have much of a chance. these almost never produce laws. it is unfortunate. you would hope they would. this if it is cut, will be between nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell and the white house. period. and the longer it takes on recognize that, the more difficult it will become. one more point. nancy pelosi this morning, the speaker of the house, suggested, didn't say it but suggested that congress could be here after christmas. so after december 25th. december 26th through the new year, they could be here trying to work this out. we've seen it in the past and we
do not doubt that could it happen this time around. >> all right. i don't think anyone is holding their breath but thank you for being here. next, what happens when a chicago hospital shuts down during a pandemic? first, the white house has announced the kingdom of morocco has established full diplomatic ties with israel making them fourth arab nation to do so. in exchange, the l.s.u. recognize control over the western sahara which no other democracy has done. they annexed with an armed resistance. last month morocco launch ad military operation in the buffer zone. we'll follow this story and the global reaction to it. you're watching msnbc. you're watching msnbc. r. inside, it turns liquid to gel. for incredible protection, that feels like nothing but my underwear. always discreet.
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to shut its doors next year raising concerns that people on the south side will have even less access to health care. in the midst of a pandemic. as data shows the coronavirus takes a disproportionate toll on people of color. joining me now, nbc news correspondent live in chicago, and tremaine lee whose into america podcast looks specifically at mercy hospital. great to have you both with us. antonio, let me start with you what does this mean for the community surrounding mercy hospital? >> reporter: so people here are panicked and they're angry. in fact, there is a crowd behind me protesting earlier today. they're struggling to fathom why city and state leaders would allow mercy hospital, an historic hospital that has served the black community on the south side, to shut down in the middle of a pandemic and now people are wondering where they'll go in the new year. providence hospital behind me is where many patients are considering going. this hospital has its own
financial woes. they had to downsize their e.r., lay off nurses and they don't even allow birthing and maternal care here which is desperately need in the black communities in chicago. so people are really concerned and i spent the last several days with a patient at mercy who is trying to figure out what comes next for her. take a listen to this. >> in this community alone we have over 216 seniors. then a lot of people with wheel chairs, walking around with canes. they can't afford to take uber. >> what message does this send to black and brown neighborhoods in the city? it is telling me that you might as well roll over and die. we don't care about your health. >> reporter: she lives basically right across the street from mercy and in the community she lives in, most people are living on limited incomes. some of her neighbors say they get in their wheel chairs and they actually roll over to mercy. and they're not sure that they'll be able to afford ubers and cabs to access the other
hospitals around town. >> let me ask but the message protesters are trying to send. >> and how does that fit into how this community has disproportionately affected black and brown communities? >> one thing we know to be gospel, pre-existing conditions make you more likely to get countdown and to die from covid-19. in america being black and poor is a pre-existing conditions that makes you so much more susceptible to the pangs of racism and systemic oppression. folks here are viewing this closure through that lens. this is part and parcel of school closures, food deserts and now a health care desert. .to one doctor earlier who gave us the 30,000 foot holistic view of this issue. the name of dr. thomas brit. take a listen.
>> there's blame all the way around. do you acknowledge that you contribute to this and what can you do to make it better? and then, if you acknowledge it, and you're a politician, and you acknowledge it, you're a corporate entity, you acknowledge that this physician didn't help, if you acknowledge all these things, are you willing to make the change? the changes won't come overnight west didn't get into this mess overnight. we won't get out of it overnight. we have to start and we should start tomorrow. >> now the hospital will say, we're taking care of the most vulnerable, folks who don't have commercial insurance and we're not making enough money to sustain ourselves. but to the community, a community that has been disinvested in for a very long time. in one of america's most segregated communities where there is a gap in social justice issues and police issues and health care issues, this is part and parcel of the bigger machine
that keeps grinding folks up and they're pushing to save at least the one resource and one institution that has been there for they will. >> all right. thank you both. you can watch more of his interview and his latest into america podcast. you can check it out wherever you get your podcasts. joining me now, professor of african-american studies, dr. eric dyson, the author of the new book, long time coming, it's great to have you with us. in your new book you lay out the roots of systemic racism and how it continues to operate today. help us connect the dots from that planned closure of mercy hospital in chicago to your central thesis. >> well, look. thank you for having me. when america promised in the aftermath of george floyd to deal with systemic racism, we paid attention to the fact everything that ends in the word system must be reconstructed,
must be changed for real transformation to occur. health care system. hospitals are part of the health care system. so when we see a closing of mercy hospital, and i lived twice in chicago. i know that is a huge loss to that city's african-american population, especially on the south side, and other regions of. city. it means that they're being denied access to high quality health care. it means that they're being redirected. they're being marginalizemargin. they're being siphoned off from a place that pays attention to them and other sites may not pay as critical attention to them as this particular hospital would. we saw a report that came out about a month and a half ago that said, even black infants will fare better if they have the care and concern of a black doctor. that doesn't mean that white doctors are racist or inherently
bigoted toward those children. i mean there's a level of care being exercised by african-american doctors that helps those children in the long run. so this health care system is extremely important. the hospital is extremely important. and to closure of it at the height of a pandemic as black bodies are already vulnerable because of this disease, and this virus that has spread, only underscores what they call in the 1990s, a sin-demic. two pandemics, race on the one hand and the virus on the other. >> let me ask you on the topic of chicago, state health officials are preparing to receive shipments of covid-19 vaccine as early as next week. what does this state need to do to ensure it is distributed equitably to communities of color? >> well, they've got to get them in the hands of people responsibility for distributing they will. they've got to look at the percentage of people in particular, hot spots, and pockets of vulnerability who
need immediate help and assistance. when we do triage within medicine, that means we pay attention especially to those most likely to be susceptible to ever what particular disease that they are presently experiencing. and given the global pandemic that is besieging these black communities in deleterious fashion, it is notes consult with local medical authorities to make sure that the politicians who are involved as well pay strict attention to those most vulnerable in the south side or the west side of chicago where african-american people are congregated in chicago. >> let me ask but another system in this country that certainly needs reform. that has to do with policing. they released this audio from joe biden today on their podcast. >> i don't think we should get too far ahead of ourselves on dealing with police reform in that because they've already labeled us as being defund the
police. anything we've put forward in terms of the organizational structure to change policing, which i promise you will occur, i promise you. just think to yourself and give me advice whether we should do that before january 5th. because that's how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we're talking about defunding the police. we're not. we're talking about holding them accountable. >> to put that in context for our viewers, he was speaking to a group of civil rights organizations in this country a few days ago. do you agree with his assertion that the discussions of he due funning of police are why democrats lost seats? >> i have a reaction that is kind of bipolar or at least schizophrenic. on the one hand let's think of this as the pharoah.
the soon to be president of the united states, joe biden. they think as politicians do. they're looking at language being used. they know there will be opposition and pro found resistance express bid political figures to the kind of progressive ideas they have, at least the liberal ideas they have about either defunding police or reforming the police. so he's extremely careful and cautious about the language. which i completely understand. on the other hand, standing, that's from pharoah's perspective. for the children of israel, for those in the street, for those seeking exodus from the horrors of police brutality, we have to understand that people's backs are against the wall. the lethal intensity has targeted black people with vicious specificity. that means they are the ones being hurt. so we must understand why black people and others of their allies say we should defund police. because reforming hasn't worked. we've tried to reform police.
but police unions are too powerful. they resist any attempt to reform policing at all. community policing doesn't work. the community oversight of policings hasn't worked. so i understand completely why those who argue about defunding police should press ahead and say, we have to have a more radical reimagining of what policing is like in this country. on the other hand, if you're looking at it from the perspective of a politico and somebody is trying to be savvy who is interested in your particular perspective, they are saying, let's describe it in a way not to be vulnerable to rebuff before it even gets started. >> all right. the book is long time coming. reckoning with race in manager. professor michael eric dyson, thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> bless you, my friend. >> we are monitoring the historic advisory meeting expected to vote any moment whether to recommend the pfizer vaccine. they've taken a quick break in the meantime. and covid infected allies of president trump have all gotten a special antibody treatment in
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fraud, one day after he was released from the hospital for the coronavirus. while giuliani was still hospitalized, he said he received expedited health care at the direction of president trump's personal physician. >> his doctor sent me here. he talked me into it. i didn't want to really go to the hospital. and he said, don't be stupid. we can get it over with in three days if we send you -- if we send you to the hospital. >> well, it's wonderful news that you're feeling well. >> though i have to say, the minute i took the cocktail yesterday, i felt 100% better. >> so "the new york times" reports that ben carson, chris christie, and president trump himself have all received special treatment, quote, raising alarms among medical ethicists as state officials and health system administrators grapple with gut-wrenching decisions about which patients get antibodies. any system that can only be described as rationing. joi joining us now is one of the medical ethicists quoted in that
story, michael kaplan with population health. sir, great to have you with us. you work with drug companies on row to ration scarce medications, such as the monoclonal antibodies that were given to the president and his allies. what should go into consideration when deciding who should get these drugs? >> who needs them the most, who's most likely to benefit. those are the driving considerations. not whether you're trump's friend or a celebrity or rich. we have a system that already favors the rich. it won't shock anybody to find that out. you're going to get into a hospital much more quickly and a fancy one if you're well-connected or you have a lot of money or insurance than if you're poor or lack insurance. but to give out scarce drugs solely on the basis of who's the friend of the president, as giuliani says happened to him, is just a way to undermine public trust in any type of
rationing, whether it's vaccines or drugs or anything else. >> the question obviously a lot of people are worried about is the issue of the coronavirus vaccine and whether that's going to be scarce in its quantities. there's going to be a limited number that will be available in the near-term. the cdc is recommending that the first doses should go to health care workers and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities. since there won't be enough to vaccinate all of them for some time, how should officials decide who gets those shots first? >> the vaccines are intended to prevent death, to prevent hospitalization, to prevent people from getting sick. you take the people who are most at risk, nursing home residents have been just horribly crunched by this virus. huge numbers killed. health care workers, highly exposed. many of them dead. so you've got to come up with a system that prioritizes them and not a celebrity or a sports figure or someone else who steps forward and says, we need vaccinations, because we're
important, too. you know, everybody from an uber driver to a plumber to a person working in a meat packing plant can claim importance, but you've got to take the people most likely to be killed by the virus first. >> i have a two-part question for you. this is based on a new gala poll that finds that 63% of americans say that they will get the vaccine. that's up from 50% back in september. that's a good trend. however, other surveys have found that large numbers of new york city transit workers, for example, and firefighters, say they won't get the vaccine. i'm curious to get your thoughts from an ethical perspective. what do political leaders and health officials need to do to overcome the reluctance? and the second part is, should getting the vaccine be made mandatory? >> let's go to the second one first. it's not time to mandate, because we're approving these vaccines based on partial data. that's what's going to happen from this committee today in the fda. most likely we'd say, we could rule the vaccines out, but on
incomplete information. not going to man date, not until the fda licenses the vaccines, which will be a few more months, would you start to be able to have the legal, ethical authority to mandate. in terms of what do we do about firefighters, policemen, or others who might say, not sure. i think you've got to say to them, look, you're exposing people, you've got to protect your families, it isn't just for you to be brave, it's for those around you to be protected. get vaccinated. the more people that do it, the less the virus can attack our workforce, the more we're there to get people to the hospital, to get people the health care they need. the other thing i would do is to have people who are eligible in the firefighting force, wherever the reluctance is, get the at-risk group out there and get them vaccinated and let them be good role models. >> and the commissioner is out there doing that right now. arthur kaplan, thank you so much for addressing some of these difficult questions for us. i appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> that wraps up this hour for
hi, there, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. as the anxiety and grief of a nation gives way to outrage that a country reeling from 3,103 covid deaths yesterday has been abandoned by its president, donald trump, and by the party that has now fully surrendered to his grip. 3,103. it's a death toll eclipsed by few events in united states history. one that has